John Isner wins fifth
BB&T Atlanta Open title
Victoria Chiesa | July 29, 2018
The BB&T Atlanta Open has long been John Isner's house, and at the close of the first week of the US Open Series, the American put his name alongside the game's greats.
In a rematch of the 2017 final, top-seeded Isner defeated No. 8 seed Ryan Harrison, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, to claim his second title of 2018.
Atlanta has been Isner's most successful stop on the ATP Tour: he has now won five of his 14 career titles in the Georgia capital, and he has played in eight finals in Atlanta in his career. With the victory, the 33-year-old American joins Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi and John McEnroe as American men to win a singles tournament at least five times.
Playing in his first event since losing a historic, but heartbreaking, Wimbledon semifinal, Isner's second straight title run in Atlanta unfolded as the inverse of a year ago. ADVERTISEMENT In 2017, the American did not drop a set en route to championship glory, including a win over Harrison in the final.
Twelve months later, however, the top seed was stretched to three sets in each of his last three matches against Mischa Zverev, Matt Ebden and Harrison.
The younger American beat Isner at his own game in the opening set, as Harrison dropped just five points on his own serve to claim a set lead in the pursuit of his second career title.
Harrison converted the lone break point he held in the first set en route to winning it, but that proved to be the only game the No. 8 seed won on return in the match.
Harrison went 0-for-4 on break-point chances in the second set, while Isner's serve got hot at the right time in the decider.
The top seed served eight of his 21 aces for the match in the final set, lost just five points on serve and never faced a break point. Conversely, the world No. 9 broke once in each of the second and third sets to rally his way to victory in just under two hours.